When Angela Hite met Vashti Muse 20 years ago while dancing for Hinds Community College Hi-Steppers, she received encouragement and support from Muse to continue dancing.
"She was a big supporter of the Hi-steppers and helped to organize the Hi-steppers alumni chapter," Hite recalls. "She was very instrumental in that."
Hite, who is now the director of the Hi-steppers dance team and the Miss Hinds Community College Pageant, says she has fond memories of when Muse and her husband, Hinds Community College President Clyde Muse, accompanied the dance team to their annual performance at the Neshoba County Fair.
"You always wanted to be sure to be on the bus that they were on, because on the way to Neshoba, we went through Sepastopol where they were from," Hite says. "They would always tell stories about their younger days and how they met."
On Friday, July 9, Vashti Muse, 76, died in a one-car accident on U.S. Highway 49. Clyde Muse sustained minor injuries, and doctors released him from Forrest General Hospital on Saturday.
Vashti Muse, who was born in Leland, was a life-long educator who taught elementary school in Starkville from 1961 to 1978. In 1980, she began working at Hinds Community College as a reading instructor shortly after her husband became president.
Hite says Muse was always attentive to her student's needs.
"Mrs. Muse was one-on-one with all the students she came across," Hite says. "She was an advocate for students. If anyone ever needed anything she would help them. She would literally walk them to the office to help get them whatever service they needed."
Muse held a bachelor's and master's degree in elementary education from Mississippi State University and a developmental education specialist certificate from Appalachian State University. She taught reading on the HCC Raymond campus until she retired in 1996 and continued as an adjunct instructor until her death.
Visitation for Muse is today from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Cain-Cochran Hall on the Raymond Campus of Hinds Community College, followed by a service at 4 p.m. also at Cain-Cochran Hall.
Memorials may be made to the Vashti Underwood Muse Scholarship through the Hinds Community College Development Foundation, P. O. Box 1100, Raymond, 39154.